FISHKILL, N.Y. -- Officials from the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Athletic Association and Marist College Athletic Department today announced the details of the ninth annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, to be played between Army and Marist at Dutchess Stadium on April 23.
The contest pits the Hudson Valley's lone Division I baseball programs, Army and Marist, and brings together residents and fan bases from neighboring communities for an evening of quality entertainment at the home of the area's lone minor league baseball team affiliated with a major league franchise, the Hudson Valley Renegades.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. for this year's contest and will showcase a pair of teams with NCAA aspirations, followed by postgame fireworks.
Army and Marist are evenly split in the HVBC with each team winning four times.
"We are thrilled to once again be the venue for the annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic here at the Dutch," said Renegades Vice President/Special Events Rick Zolzer. "We can't wait to see the reaction of the players and the fans when they see our brand new all purpose Astro Turf Field."
Leadership Dutchess has partnered with the game and will hold its "Home Run Helicopter Drop," following the awarding of the trophy and prior to the fireworks. A grand prize of $2,000 will be awarded to one lucky winner. Fans can purchase baseballs that will be dropped from a helicopter for just $10 at www.chamberfdn.org; only a limited number will be sold. The baseball that lands on the target marked on the field will win the grand prize.
For the ninth consecutive year, in conjunction with the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, a free baseball clinic for boys and girls ages 8 to 18 will be conducted by players and coaches from both Army and Marist on the Dutchess Stadium playing field prior to the game from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The first 150 individuals to pre-register for the clinic will receive a T-shirt commemorating the event, while all those participating in the clinic will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a Renegades game later this summer.
"This event is a terrific opportunity to showcase two quality Division I programs in the Hudson River Valley," said Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray. "Fans will have an opportunity to experience great college baseball with a terrific family atmosphere. I'd like to thank the Army Athletic Association, the Hudson Valley Renegades and our sponsors for their work in making this event an annual success. It is a must-see for all baseball players, fans and families."
In a popular twist added six years ago, two youths who pre-register and attend the pregame clinic will be selected at random to participate in on-field festivities during the game itself. Two lucky youngsters will accompany Army head coach Matt Reid and Marist head coach Chris Tracz to home plate to present lineup cards during the Umpires Meeting prior to the game. Two clinic attendees will be chosen to hold the on-field microphone during renditions of The Star Spangled Banner (pregame) and God Bless America (seventh-inning stretch) .
"This has grown into such a tremendous community event and we are thrilled to participate," said Army Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan. "We are fortunate to provide Hudson Valley residents a chance to interact with our cadet-athletes and an outstanding evening of free entertainment. The Renegades leadership and Marist Athletic Director Tim Murray and his staff help ensure this annual event is a success."
All of the game-day features associated with a Hudson Valley Renegades home contest will be in operation for the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic once again, with Renegades' staff members shouldering their normal game-day details. The Renegades' popular mascot "Rascal" will be attendance, joining mascots from both Marist and Army.
Pregame festivities will include an autograph session with players from both Army and Marist, an on-field Color Guard presenting colors and a contingent of the Army Glee Club and Marist Singer's performing the National Anthem. A spectacular fireworks show provided by Legion Fireworks Company will cap the evening. The impressive fireworks display will begin immediately following the on-field presentation of the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic Trophy to the team captains and head coach of the winning club.
"It's an honor to be part of the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic for the ninth time, said Marist head baseball coach Chris Tracz. "It's definitely an event our program looks forward to every year, to compete against West Point and showcase Division I baseball in the Hudson Valley."
Said Army interim head coach Matt Reid, "Our guys look forward to this event every year. They enjoy the clinic and having a chance to work with aspiring baseball players. They then get treated to a first-class experience by the Renegades, and get to play a very good team in Marist. There is always a great crowd for this game, and we hope to be holding the trophy before the postgame fireworks."
Fans who cannot make it to Dutchess Stadium can watch a video stream of the contest exclusively through Army's YouTube channel.
Live radio for the game will be provided as well. The Army call is available on WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM) and also through www.goARMYsports.com. The Marist call of the game can be at www.GoRedFoxes.com.
As in the past, there will be no admission charge for the event. However, complimentary tickets will be required to enter Dutchess Stadium on April 23. Tickets can be picked up at the Renegades offices, athletic departments at both Army and Marist and businesses across the Hudson Valley beginning later this week. Tickets will also be available for pickup at Dutchess Stadium the night of the Classic. Fans can contact the Hudson Valley Renegades (845-838-0094), Army Athletic Association (845-938-3303) or Marist Athletic Department (845-575-3324) for further information regarding ticket distribution policies and locations.
Batting practice for both teams will be open to the public with the sessions running from 4:30-5:40 p.m. Marist will conduct its batting practice period from 4:30 to 5:05 p.m., followed by Army from 5:05 to 5:40 p.m. Team autograph sessions will take place from 6:15-6:30 p.m. in the stands along both baselines.
Full team introductions and pregame festivities will follow with first pitch of the ninth annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Those wishing to attend the clinic can pre-register at Army's official website (www.goARMYsports.com) or Marist's official website (www.GoRedFoxes.com). Individuals can also register for the event on the day of the clinic at Dutchess Stadium. The clinic has proven to be a rousing success with nearly 200 area youths participating each year.
The inaugural Hudson Valley Baseball Classic was played at Dutchess Stadium on April 19, 2006, drawing an enthusiastic crowd of 2,619 - the largest to ever witness a college baseball game in the Hudson Valley. That figure was surpassed the following year on May 2 when 3,016 streamed into Dutchess Stadium to watch the second Hudson Valley Baseball Classic. Despite temperatures hovering in the 30s shortly after first pitch on April 30, 2008, the event drew a crowd of 2,375. Attendance jumped to 2,754 for the 2009 with the 2010 crowd at 2,407. In 2011, the announced attendance was 2,422 fans while poor weather limited the crowd in 2012 to 1,602. Army posted a 10-3 victory last season in front of 2,512 fans.
Media members wishing to attend the contest should contact Army's Ryan Yanoshak at (845) 938-7197 to arrange credentials.
For more information on the 2014 WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, please visit the official Web sites of the Hudson Valley Renegades (www.hvrenegades.com), Army Athletic Association (www.goARMYsports.com) or Marist Athletic Department (www.GoRedFoxes.com).
Hudson Valley Baseball Classic Results
Year Final Score
2013 Army 10, Marist 3
2012 Marist 6, Army 3
2011 Marist 15, Army 7
2010 Army 4, Marist 3
2009 Army 10, Marist 3
2008 Marist 11, Army 2
2007 Marist 7, Army 6
2006 Army 6, Marist 1